Masters Degrees (School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 8
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    The ecological footprint of individual members at the Army Support Base Eastern Cape
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Fouche, Desire Elizabeth; Smit, Hennie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Sciences. School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a measurement that is used to calculate the demand for resources placed on the environment because of the needs and wants of humans in their daily lives. It is important that each individual is aware of their EF because resources need to be conserved for future generations. In the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa environmental rights are entrenched, and the protection thereof against pollution, ecological degradation and overexploitation specified. The calculation of the EF by means of the Global Footprint Network (GFN) online calculator was used to measure the EF of the individuals of the Army Support Base Eastern Cape (ASB EC). Such a calculation has never been done at any military installation of the South African National Defence Force, a hiatus this research aims to fill. The Ecological Footprint can be measured by either using a mathematical calculation or an online calculator. The mathematical calculation or the Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA) is based on either a compound - or component EF calculation. The GFN online ecological footprint calculator is currently the most used method to determine the EF of an individual and displays the land use type of each consumption category. These categories include food, shelter, mobility, goods and services, the EF, carbon footprint and carbon footprint as part of the EF as well as the number of Earths needed for a specific lifestyle. The EF online calculator was used to calculate the EF of the individual members at the Army Support Base Eastern Cape, a military support base situated in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The main function of the ASB EC is to supply support services. The ASB EC is situated in a larger Garrison area which houses other units and Arms of Services and has an average strength of 460 individuals. The methodology was based on a quantitative approach, using research questions and research objectives to classify the research study as a descriptive and exploratory study. A random sample of the population was used to complete the online EF calculation. The EF online survey method, a questionnaire, was used to obtain the quantitative data from the online results from each participant. The different categories and EF calculations were tabulated in a data matrix table to be able to complete the data analysis process. This data matrix table was in the format of an Excel spreadsheet and with the help of the Centre of Statistical Consultation at Stellenbosch University, the statistical analysis was done. The statistical data was analysed by using the STATISTICA 14.0 programme. The qualitative data that was available from the data matrix table was then used to calculate the EF of the individual members of the ASB EC as well as their combined EF. The ASB EC has a total of 460 personnel. On average the strength per day is 300 members. An attempt was made to include a total of 140 members, which is close to 30% of the overall personnel in the unit. The official unit’s name list was used to randomly select the participants. The analysis of the data was based on the examination of each variable which in all cases were expressed on a numerical or quantitative measuring scale. The sum of the variables was determined by computer program analysis. The descriptive EF online calculation data was used to determine the individual and combined EF of the individuals at the ASB EC to answer the research questions and the research objectives. The data-matrix table which contained the individual results of the GFN online EF calculation completed by the ASB EC participants were used to calculate the EF of everyone, and by adding them up, to determine the combined EF of the ASB EC. The results are described in relation to the rank groups, different departments, and gender of the participants. Officers recorded the highest EF across most categories, with NCOs, PSAP, and privates generally recording the lowest scores. The departments rendered fairly similar results across all categories of the EF. Even where differences existed, they were not always significant, however there were significant differences between male and female participants. In almost all categories, males scored higher than females, indicating that they have a higher EF than females. These trends are corroborated by the results of other studies. According to the results, officers have the highest scores in the different categories of ranks. Group 4 (Emergency Services and PTSR) and Group 1 (Headquarters (HQ), Communication, Human Resources, Senior warrant officer (SWO) and Control) dominate the calculation of the different departments, and in terms of gender, males recorded the overall highest scores. Secondly, officers play a dominant role in both the rank groups and the department compositions. Officers are a high-income group which is one of the main reasons for the high EF. Thirdly, males rather than females have the highest EF especially because of a high CF and mobility footprint because of their higher income. The combined results for the ASB EC indicated that the average planet score is 3.6, the EF 5,8gha, and the carbon footprint 10.6 (T per year) which means that 62% is part of the EF. According to the land use categories, the highest land type scores include forest land (0.7) and cropland (1.0), and the lowest score is grazing land (0.1). When considering the consumer categories, the carbon (3.5) and shelter footprints (1.7) are the highest as well as the food (1.1) and mobility footprints (1.0). The main findings from the study can be summarised as follows: level of income plays the most significant part in the calculation of the EF of an individual. A high income can influence 90% of the other categories because the lifestyle of an individual is directly related to their income. The study shows a direct link between higher income (proxied by rank, in this case officers with high income), and a high EF. Officers who fall in a high-income bracket play a dominant role in both the rank group as well as the different Groups because where the participants in the Group where mostly officers, high scores were recorded in the different categories. This means a high income reflects a more lavish lifestyle and a higher EF. The EF of males and females can both be high or low depending on the role that females play in their home and society. In this study, males dominated the EF calculation, evidenced by an overall high score in the different categories. Since almost no statistically significant differences between the different genders were found, it can be postulated that, because of the same working environment, males and females in the ASB EC may not have such a different EF as the raw results may suggest. More research is needed regarding this phenomenon.
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    Towards a learning analytics reference framework to predict at-risk students at the Faculty of Military Science
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Pretorius, Andre; Khoza, Lindiwe Mhaka; Dalton, Wayne Owen; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Learning analytics (LA) is a relatively new field of application in the Analytics domain. Its main aim is to analyse teaching and learning (T&L) data from various sources to provide users with insights towards improving T&L. One of these T&L improvements is a greater focus on student success and more accurate methods of limiting student failure. This process starts with the identification of students at risk of failure (so-called “at-risk” students) through a prediction methodology which commonly falls within the knowledge sphere of Artificial Intelligence (AI), more specifically Machine Learning (ML). In contemporary information systems, the supporting platform for this is provided by an LA information system (LAIS) that relies on an underlying virtual learning environment (VLE), which in turn uses T&L data from a learning management system (LMS). A reference framework (RF) establishes a common foundation for future implementation of a system for developers and users. It provides appropriate guidance to users in a specific field of knowledge. Guidance is, however, generic in nature to secure reusability. This research focussed on developing an RF to implement LA in the Faculty of Military Science (FMS) of Stellenbosch University (SU) for at-risk student identification. The RF is supported by five models and one framework, namely, (1) a pedagogical model, (2) a model for effective VLEs, (3) a model for LA implementation, (4) a model for at-risk student identification and (5) a framework for the ethical use of LA. It is the conclusion of the study that the RF for LA in the FMS will provide suitable guidance for future implementation of LA in the faculty to effect timely identification of at-risk students and fitting remedial actions towards greater throughput may be implemented. It is envisioned that this RF be validated in the FMS in the near future and that future research in the use of ML be extended to identify suitable indicators of at-risk students more accurately.
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    Porous land borders and their effect on South African National Security
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Letlape, Abel Patswaite; Smit, H. A. P.; Van der Merwe, J. D. S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Sciences. School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa currently experiences a high volume of irregular migration from neighbouring African countries and other countries further afield. This type of migration is linked globally to human trafficking, extremism, cross-border crime, drug trafficking, and other undesirable political, economic and social issues. Worldwide there is a perception that South Africa’s borders are porous and thus exploited by criminal syndicates. Evidence exists of countless undocumented people who got apprehended by SA law enforcement authorities inside the country. Consequently, this study aims to investigate the causes of porous land border in South Africa, the threats presented by porous land borders, and the land border areas that need diplomatic and security attention. To gain more insight in this matter, eight in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with SANDF military strategy developers, military strategy implementers and experts at the operational level, professional people who are responsible for fulfilling the role of land border safeguarding. To enhance the rigour of the study, the underlying principles of the Copenhagen School of thought, and the Lee’s push-pull theory, the lenses through which the study was approached, were linked to the findings of the study. Furthermore, various sources were used to collect secondary data, which then were triangulated with findings of research interview findings to strengthen the validity and the reliability of the study. The data was recorded, transcribed and analysed manually through thematic analysis. Themes and patterns identified were labelled in the form of a word, a sentence, phrase or a couple of sentences. The findings of the study illustrated that the main causes of porous land borders in South Africa are a lack of resources, the length and material condition of the border, uncoordinated intelligence, corrupt government officials, the colonial border legacy, liberalist migration policies and laws, lack of integrated overarching national security strategy, the large South African informal employment sector, and ineffective cooperation and collaboration between SA departments of state at national strategic level and parallel departments in neighbouring countries. Pull factors that promote the violation of borders include the fact that human rights are guaranteed in South Africa; that South Africa is a country with a liberal democracy; that, despite its challenges, South Africa is still perceived as a country socio-economically and politically exceeding other countries in Africa; that South Africa has an infrastructure largely unmatched on the continent. Factors identified as pushing nationals away from their respective home countries in Africa towards South Africa are: poverty and hardship, violence, civil-military conflicts, wars, poor economic conditions and associated poor living conditions. Paradoxically, escaping from these factors to a country with perceived solutions in turn creates emerging threats in the target country, such as economic threats, societal threats, political threats and environmental threats. These threats to the national security of South Africa are closely linked to her porous land borders. The borders between Mozambique and South Africa, Zimbabwe and South Africa and Lesotho and South Africa were identified as being the most porous land borders that require urgent attention from governments involved. Building from these findings, the South African government should prioritise its territorial integrity and border protection as one of its vital interests. While addressing the internal factors attributed to porous land borders, the government should also focus its efforts on stabilising and assisting in the political and economic situation of its neighbouring countries, especially Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho. These countries can play a vital role in becoming a buffer and a first physical line of defence to South Africa in stopping illegal immigrants and contraband before reaching South Africa’s porous land borders. The research contended that South Africa should pursue its interest in territorial integrity and border protection through bilateral cooperation, since it is easier to reach a bilateral agreement than pursuing multilateral security initiatives.
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    Drivers of environmental management in the SANDF: a case study of Western Cape Units, 2011-2015
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-12) Ncubukezi, Lundi; Smit, Hendrik Adolf Petrus; Van der Merwe, Justin; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary function of the South African Department of Defence and Military Veterans (SA DoDMV) is to defend and protect the Republic of South Africa (RSA), its territorial integrity and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has military units throughout the country. These units are situated in locations such that they contribute to the primary function of the SA DoDMV. To execute its undertaking, the SANDF requires resources such as land to conduct its activities. Military activities cause physical disturbance to ecosystems. These activities include military training, exercises, peace support operations and the actual conduct of war. Any and all of these activities may have a negative impact on the environment. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No. 108 of 1996), Defence Review 1996, 1998 and 2015, White Paper on Defence 1996 and the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 of 1998 (NEMA) mandate responsible environmental management (EM) from all organs of the state. In light of this policy framework, the SA DoDMV has established a broad strategy and several functional strategies for environmental services (ES) in the SANDF. Furthermore, the SANDF has for environmental management (EM) purposes grouped military units into five regions (Western Cape; Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal; Free State and Northern Cape; Limpopo; Gauteng and North West). The DoDMV published two editions of environmental implementation plans (EIPs), in 2001 and 2008 respectively. The primary aim of the first edition EIP was to represent an instrument for the promotion of co-operative governance around environmental management. The second followed on the efforts and commitments made in the First Edition EIP, as well as filling in any gaps that were identified. As part of mechanisms for monitoring EM, the SANDF has institutionalised the Environmental Awards Programme (EAP). Military units in the Western Cape Region (WCR) have won more environmental awards than the other four regions in the country combined. The question, therefore, is which drivers are promoting effective environmental management (EEM) in award-winning military units (AWMU) in the WCR. The research statement was that there are drivers in the AWMU in the WCR that promote EEM. The study adopted a qualitative research approach. Desktop study and semi-structured interview methods were employed to collect data. Purposive sampling was used to identify respondents. The desktop study revealed the mechanisms that the SA DoDMV planned to use to address EM issues. Semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the drivers that environmental managers viewed as enabling the EEM. The collected data was analysed using content and thematic analysis. The results indicate that environmental managers view continuous environmental training, employee capacitation, the involvement of employees, external interaction, management support, and commitment as drivers enabling effective EM in the WCR. The findings suggest that it is not just the presence of policies that prompt improved environmental performance, but internal factors too. The outcomes are noteworthy because they indicate what works in AWMU. Other units may use the findings to develop best practices to enhance their own environmental management performance.
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    The influence of geographic factors on the distribution of natural radionuclides
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-12) Geyser, Alwyn Petrus; Bezuidenhout, J.; Smit, H.A.P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. Dept. of Military Geography. School for Geospatial Studies and Information Systems.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The primordial radionuclides 40K, 232Th, and 238U have been present in almost all rocks, soils, and minerals since the formation of Earth. These radionuclides emit gamma radiation that is detectable by means of a scintillation detector. By measuring the concentrations of 40K, 232Th, and 238U in an area it is possible to draw radioelement maps. These radioelement maps were then used in a qualitative analysis to establish the influence of local geographic factors on the distribution of natural radionuclides. The research site is a granite outcrop, Baviaansberg, and the immediate area surrounding the outcrop. Baviaansberg is situated in the Saldanha Bay Military Area on the West Coast of South Africa. The available literature on the impact of geographic factors on the distribution of natural radionuclides are limited. Scientific radioelement mapping in military areas in South Africa has only been completed by Bezuidenhout (2012). The research provided the opportunity to study the feasibility of establishing a link between natural radionuclide concentrations and geographic factors within a military area. Hence, the aim of the research was to investigate the relationship between geographic factors and the distribution of natural radionuclides of a particular area. Radioelement maps were used to analyse the impact of the respective geographic factors “geology”, “topography”, “soil type”, “hydrology”, “wind” and “human activity” on the distribution of the concentrations of natural radionuclides. Radiation measurements of the natural radionuclides in the research site were completed by means of in situ measurements using a NaI(Tl) scintillation detector connected to a tablet computer. Once the natural radionuclide concentrations were extracted by means of Full Spectrum Analysis (FSA), radioelement maps were created from the results. Qualitative analysis was performed on the radioelement maps by means of comparing it to the slope raster, slope profiles, a flow accumulation raster, wind data, Google Earth images, a human activities map, a soil type map, Spline vs Kriging raster, Th vs K raster, U vs K raster, and a U vs Th raster. The qualitative analysis aimed to establish the influence of the identified geographic factors on the spread of natural radionuclide concentrations. The results indicated that the geology of an area influences the distribution of natural radionuclides. The highest concentrations of natural radionuclides were found close to the granite outcrops on Baviaansberg. Slope was used to determine the influence of topography. The results revealed that slope influences 40K concentrations to a greater extent than 232Th and 238U concentrations due to the solubility of 40K. The different soil types within Baviaansberg also displayed unique associated natural radionuclide concentrations. According to the research results, the hydrology of Baviaansberg impacted on the spread of 40K, 232Th and 238U concentrations. However, 40K was influenced to a greater extent because of its solubility. The impact of the dry summer winds on the distribution of natural radionuclides became apparent through a comparison of the leeward and windward slopes of Baviaansberg. On the leeward slope higher concentrations of natural radionuclides were recorded than on the windward slope due to small particles that are removed from the windward slope and deposited on the leeward slope. Research results concerning the influence of human activities on the distribution of natural radiation were inconclusive. Further research needs to be conducted in order to confirm a definite relationship, should it in fact exist. True to the aim of the research, the study established that it is feasible to validate the influence of geographic factors on the distribution of natural radionuclides by analysing the natural radionuclide concentrations of an area.